Royal seal of approval for Ingeus justice colleagues

12 Apr 2022
It’s been a long three years, but the hidden heroes of Ingeus’s justice division were finally recognised at a glittering ceremony for the Butler Trust Awards. The trust’s Royal Patron Princess Anne was on hand to present the awards at the event, which had been delayed due to the pandemic.

It was a hat-trick for Ingeus, with Pat Bannigan, Simon Bland and Parmjit Rai all receiving honours for their work within the former Reducing Reoffending Partnership. The annual awards ceremony is the highlight of the Butler Trust’s calendar but has not been held since 2019.

Last week, guests gathered in the heart of Oxford University, at the Sheldonian Theatre for a bumper celebration. The award winners received their certificates from the Princess and later enjoyed afternoon tea in the Gothic dining hall of Keble College.

Pat Bannigan, now a partnerships manager for East Midlands Ingeus Justice, won the Butler Trust Award for 2020-21 for his financial support work. Pat helped prisoners transition from custody to life in the outside world, assisting them with money management, setting up bank accounts, budgeting, and dealing with debts. Pat says: “Winning a Butler Trust award is something that only happens to other people. So when I was nominated and then actually won an award I was in shock. It’s a great honour, and meeting the Princess is an experience I will never forget.”

Meanwhile Simon Bland received a commendation for his creative use of the arts, particularly music, to engage with prisoners during his time as a case worker at HMP Leicester. Simon, now a youth and arts lead, received the 2019-20 commendation for helping prisoners to discover the value of creativity and nurturing their musical talents. He says: “The last time I saw my fellow recipients was early 2020 as we prepared ourselves for that year’s ceremony. The general passing of time, and the exceptional circumstances of the last two years created a reflective feel, but I’ve been lucky to be able to use something I genuinely believe in, and follow my own ideas, to try to touch the lives of others. Also, Princess Anne is pretty cool!”

Another to be honoured at the event was Parmjit Rai, who was commended for his role in the innovative and highly successful STAR Housing Project in Derby from 2020-21. At the time, Parm was a housing and welfare case worker for Ingeus. Parm was part of a team of three behind the project, providing accommodation for prison leavers. Parm, who has since left Ingeus to work as an accommodation advisor, says: “The STAR Project helped support, transform, and resettle male service users in the Derby area. It was great to be recognised for our commitment, and to know that the project continues to thrive.”

Although their roles may have since changed, the work of these three heroes leaves a great legacy for the justice team – well done to everyone involved! Read more about the work in the recent evaluations of the Ingeus-led Reducing Reoffending Partnership which managed two Community Rehabilitation Companies.

Recommended Articles